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Wednesday 1 October 2014

Omagh bombing: Seamus Daly remanded on murder charges

Published 11/04/2014 | 11:27

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THE prosecution case against a high profile republican charged with murdering 29 people in the Omagh bombing is based on phone, forensic and witness evidence, a court has heard.

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A detective said the decision to charge Seamus Daly, 43, who has previously been successfully sued over the Real IRA outrage, had been taken in consultation with the "highest level" of Northern Ireland's Public Prosecution Service after reviewing a range of evidence allegedly linking the Co Monaghan bricklayer and publican with the August 1998 attack.

 

Appearing at Dungannon Magistrates' Court, Daly, originally from Cullaville, Co Monaghan in the Irish Republic but now residing in Jonesborough, Co Armagh, was remanded in custody after deputy district judge Paul Conway refused a bail application.

 

Daly, who has a previous conviction in the Irish Republic for IRA membership, has already been found liable for the Omagh bomb in a landmark civil case heard at Belfast High Court.

 

Last night, detectives charged him with 29 counts of murder and a number of other charges.

 

He also faces counts of causing the explosion in Omagh; possession of a bomb in the Co Tyrone market town with intent to endanger life or property; conspiring to cause an explosion in Lisburn, Co Down in April 1998; and possession of the Lisburn bomb with intent.

 

He was arrested by officers from the Police Service of Northern Ireland's Serious Crime Branch in Newry on Monday as he accompanied his wife to the town hospital's maternity unit. Arguing for bail, his lawyer Dermot Fee told the court that the baby's due date - the couple's second child - was today.

 

Opposing bail, the PSNI detective said Daly claimed to be his brother when he was stopped by police and was only formally identified through fingerprint analysis.

 

Dressed in jeans and a dark grey hooded top, unshaven Daly did not speak during the half hour hearing.

 

He sat in the dock only yards in front of the public gallery, where Michael Gallagher, whose son 21-year-old Aiden died in the blast, looked on.

 

After outlining broad details of the case against Daly, the PSNI detective said the accused responded "no comment" to every question asked during interviews but had given a pre-prepared statement to police denying all the counts.

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